I'm a contra dancer who would like to get better at hearing the phrasing and perhaps someday calling dancing. Hearing the phrasing is important to both skills.
Contra dancing is explained here.
Here's the relevant section that describes the phrasing.
Typical contra dance choreography comprises four parts, each 16 counts (8 measures) long. The parts are called A1, A2, B1 and B2. This nomenclature stems from the music: Most contra dance tunes (as written) have two parts (A and B), each 8 measures long, and each fitting one part of the dance. The A and B parts are each played twice in a row, hence, A1, A2, B1, B2. While the same music is generally played in, for example, parts A1 and A2, distinct choreography is followed in those parts. Thus, a contra dance is typically 64 counts, and goes with a 32 measure tune.
When I dance Contra I have no trouble hearing or counting the beat in most cases but knowing when one phrase ends is very difficult for me. If there's a long swing I will sometimes have a feel for when the 16 beats will end but usually not.
Is there a systematic way to learn to hear phrasing? I've talked to a few musical people who say that they can hear the phrasing but that is SO not helpful! I'm taking voice lessons and my teacher believes that the skill of hearing pitch will help me to hear phrasing. I don't know about that.